Tennis great Martina Navratilova has condemned as “pathetic” the Australian Open’s decision to stop fans wearing ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ T-shirts, accusing Tennis Australia of “capitulating” to China.
Late last week spectators at Melbourne Park were asked to remove their T-shirts and security confiscated a banner emblazoned with the same words, on the grounds that TA prohibits “clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political”… More here.
It would be easy to jump up and state that this is a terrible decision by the Australian authorities, but there is obviously more to it. When a tournament like this is TV’d around the world there likely has to be a draconian rule stopping any slogans that could offend in one country or another.
The fact that the Peng Shuai case is just awful does not override that, but it does bring home just how many global high-level interests become involved in so many aspects of our lives.